Aposematic is a project I completed during my 3rd year of university from a competition brief set by the Society of Dyers and Colourists. The brief was focussed on trend forecasting and instructed us to pick a trend to work to, with colour obviously being an important factor. I chose the trend titled “alien paradise”, found in the fabrics and colours forecast for summer 2013 in Textile View issue 96.


Alien Paradise detailed the “wonderful world of primeval forests and jungles, augmented and enchanted by new technologies” and encouraged the use of leaf patterns and the shiny skins of rainforest frogs to inspire fabrics and patterns. I began my research by looking at tropical and carnivorous plants in Dundee’s botanic gardens, and quickly incorporated research into lizards and rainforest frogs to give myself more opportunity to find colour and pattern inspiration. I found rainforest frogs to be the most inspiring research because of the wealth of beautiful colours and patterns that can be found on their skins.


“Aposematic” means “coloured as a warning sign” and describes natural colours and bright markings on an animal used to warn predators that it is poisonous.


With my main inspiration coming from rainforest frogs I researched rainforest areas, specifically the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon represents over half the planet’s remaining rainforests, and it comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world. Huge areas of the Amazon have been cleared of forest to make way for farms and crops, and even in the 1970s a Trans-Amazonian Highway. After conducting this research I decided that this would contribute to the context of my project.

Printing the pieces by hand, or at least finishing digitally printed fabrics by hand will contribute to the pieces’ sustainability and eco-friendliness; consumers will instantly see these items as more worthy than mass-produced pieces, and they will lose any sense of disposability.